JUNE 2, 2010: Nobody Will Stop 2011 General Elections

Nobody Will Stop 2011 General Elections
SOURCE: The New Vision
By Barbara Among And Felix Osike
"As sure as night follows day, there will be elections and nobody can disrupt these elections. There will be no violence," President Yoweri Museveni declared yesterday.

He assured Ugandans that the general elections due next year will not be disrupted despite what some opposition politicians have said.

Delivering his State-of-the-Nation Address, Museveni said: "Nobody should bring his demand and impose it on us on elections. There will be no violence. Nobody can intimidate Uganda."

Col. Kizza Besigye, the head of FDC, the main opposition party, said unless the Government overhauled the Electoral Commission, there would be no elections. Beisgye, who has twice lost to Museveni, added: "Either we have a free and fair election or we will not have any at all."

The opposition political parties, working under a loose coalition called the Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC), have demanded the overhaul of the commission, saying they do not trust it will organise credible elections. They want it replaced with "a non-partisan" team.

The President advised anybody unhappy with electoral reforms and the preparations for the elections to present their grievances to the inter-party forum for discussion. The forum brings all political parties to a roundtable on national issues.

"Instead of disturbing the Europeans, we have got the inter-party forum. As mature people, come and tell us what the problem is. This is Uganda not part of France, or Scotland, or Northern Ireland," said Museveni.

Last month, Besigye appealed to the international community to help guarantee a fair election and not wait until it is too late as was the case in Kenya, where violence erupted after the elections in 2007.

The President again rejected claims that the commission chairman, Badru Kiggundu, is a sympathizer of the ruling NRM party. He explained that he first met Kiggundu when he invited him to a meeting of engineers, whose association he was chairing.

"When names were proposed for chairman, Moses Ssebunya was rejected, even by some people now in the opposition.

"That is how the name of Kiggundu came up; it was a consensus," he said.